Today I wanted to talk about St. Frances of Assisi, who is the patron saint of all animals. It was recorded that he once gave a sermon to a flock of birds. He and his friend were walking when St. Frances noticed that birds began following him. He stopped, and the birds stopped and it seemed to St. Frances that they were waiting in anticipation for him to do something. Inspired by spirit, he began to talk to them. Telling them about how they were bound to God, and how God gave them such lovely feathers, beautiful tall trees for their homes, abundance of food and the freedom to fly. While he spoke, the birds showed their appreciation by spreading their wings, opening their beaks and stretching their necks. He taught them about Love.
I write about this because today I was thinking of my late mother who had an aviary. It all started from a rescue bird that she nursed back to health, but who wasn’t ever well enough to go free. Not wanting to contain it in a cage, she had a year round aviary professionally built in her yard. The structure was protected from the seasons with a flat roof and glass walls, and a sliding glass door. Since it was such a nice structure, my mother had the idea to become a rescuer of wild birds or any birds that needed a home. At one point there were dozens of birds living harmoniously together in this sanctuary. All the birds loved my mom. I never got tired of watching her walk into the aviary and be greeted by so many birds. She would hold out her arms, and they wound perch. They even perched on her head! During these times, I was always reminded of St. Frances of Assisi. My mother taught these birds how to live together in harmony, she taught them love.
Thank you to GTA Ontario Flat Roofers for contributing to this story.